Balasaheb Thackeray’s contribution to politics in Maharashtra and his emergence as a major leading figure promoting Marathi Manoos forms the subject of Balkadu which is a tribute to the influential personality.
The film comes as a disappointment to the fans and followers of the legendary leader because it has not dealt with the various aspects of his life but has content mostly related to evoking brethren feeling among the Marathis. The film focuses excessively on the theme of pride in being Marathi. It reminds us of the film Me Shivaji Raje Bhonsale Boltoy which has a similar theme. Although the characters and sequences are different but Balkadu seems to have been heavily inspired from the film.
Umesh Kamat and Neha Pendse play the lead roles. Umesh is a history teacher in a Mumbai school who suddenly begins to hear strange voices that inspire him to explore about Balasaheb Thackeray and the film follows his explorations. In what was expected to be a biopic of the Shiv Sena leader, there is a disappointing dearth of inspiring content. Dialogues and scenes look amateurishly directed. Umesh Kamat who is an otherwise decent actor fails to produce any impact which is because of the irresponsibly handled script. Too much of inspiration for Maharashtrians have been put into this film which is objectionable as it gives the wrong message of justifying the use of violence for regionalism.
Director, Atul Kale leaves us unimpressed in his attempt to portray on screen the spirit of Marathi manoos brotherhood, he ends up creating a propaganda. Balkadu could have traced the journey of the cartoonist turned political leader who faced many odds to create a niche for himself among Maharashtrians.
The film is clearly inspired from Lagey Raho Munna Bhai also in its attempt to glorify the great soul. But the much acclaimed film is way ahead of this one which barely creates lots of noise. Neha Pendse playing a news channel producer, has got no substantial role to play. But the most disappointing aspect of the film is its direction which goes haywire.
Balkadu is not entertaining at all. It leaves you with a disgusted feeling even if you are a Marathi and a Balasaheb Thackeray fan. Avoid it in all conditions.